LinkedIn’s Follower Update: Navigating The Impact Of Removed Inactive Accounts
Like all the major social media platforms, LinkedIn unfortunately includes a large number of inactive accounts. These include restricted accounts that have been placed under a temporary or permanent ban due to a violation of LinkedIn’s terms of service – often for spamming behaviour, such as sending too many connection requests, or posting misleading or fraudulent information on the profile. Some users also choose to hibernate their LinkedIn account, or deactivate it, as an alternative to deleting it altogether. Legitimate LinkedIn accounts that have not been used for an extended period may also be hibernated by the platform.
These restricted and hibernated LinkedIn accounts do not show up in most searches on the platform, but until recently have still formed part of the ‘total follower’ counts on company pages, and ‘connections’ on personal profiles.
In May 2023, LinkedIn announced some important changes in how they calculate and display follower and connection counts, so that it no longer includes restricted and hibernated accounts as part of the total number of followers and connections.
The aim of the initiative is to provide a more accurate representation of each user’s active and engaged audience. This is good news for any business owner that uses LinkedIn as a paid advertising or lead generation platform, as it improves the value and accuracy of the platform’s demographic targeting tools and yields better results from each advert.
However, many users have seen a drop in their follower counts on LinkedIn pages as a result of the change, with some reductions being quite dramatic. Over the past few months we’ve noted chatter on LinkedIn about some users losing hundreds or even a thousand or more followers from their page counts. Going forward, LinkedIn plans to regularly update all members' connections and follower counts to remove restricted and hibernated accounts, so more follower count fluctuations may be on the horizon.
Is This Change Anything To Be Concerned About?
Not really. If you’ve noticed an unexpected drop in your follower or connection count, this is almost certainly the reason, and there’s no cause to be alarmed.
Nothing has really been lost. It simply means that your follower count now more accurately reflects your number of active followers, so that you can better gauge your engagement levels and avoid wasting time marketing to inactive accounts. People looking at your profile or company page will also have more confidence that your ‘1000 followers’ are all genuine active LinkedIn users, and not 400 followers plus 600 inactive or restricted accounts! Rather than diminishing your authority and credibility on LinkedIn, removing inactive accounts and adjusting your follower count accordingly actually increases it by strengthening the authenticity of the follower count system.
In our opinion, the change makes LinkedIn an even more authentic, motivated, and value driven platform to do business in, and we hope that the initiative inspires similar moves on the part of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X.
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